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Di San Xian (Three fresh vegetables)

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Serves 2 | Prep Time 10 | Cook Time 10

Why I Love This Recipe

It is a veggie dish, in Chinese it is called ‘ Di San Xian’ , literally translated as ‘three fresh vegetable on the ground”. It is a very popular homemade Northeast dish. In fact, if you walk into a super posh restaurant (even in ) Northeast China, you may not find it. You may only find it in small family run restaurants, it is a popular daily dish for every table, and it is very cheap and very easy to make at home. I would say within 15-18 mins? :)

It is a mix of stir-fried aubergine, potato and green pepper. It’s called ‘fresh’ in original Chinese name because these three vegetables used to be very seasonal, especially given the very obvious four seasons in the Northeast of China.

Ingredients You'll Need

2-3 medium size potatos,
one good size aubergine, (4-5 slender ones),
1-2 small carrots,
one green pepper.
oil (veg oil or soy oil),
light soy sauce,
rice vinegar,
white sugar,
cooking wine,
corn flour,
sichuan pepper powder
5 (or 13) spices powder (if you don't have them, you can skip them)


1. Chop potato, aubergine, carrots in cubes (not necessary perfect cube at all :)), and green pepper in slices.

2. Put wok on medium fire, pour vegetable oil in, enough to cover at least 2cm of the bottom of the wok.

3. Put the potato cube in, fry it until the surface turn into a bit gold colour, and the middle is well cooked (not crunchy anymore). Take it out on a plate.

4. Put the aubergine cube in, until the surface of the aubergine absorbs enough oil, and becomes soft because of the heat. Remove it to the plate with potato together. ( Aubergine is known to be able to absorb lots of oil when cooking, otherwise it will get dry and burn. So this dish can be a bit ‘greasy’ because of the aubergine. If you want to shed some oil away , there are some tricks you can try: keep aubergines in the wok for a bit longer after it is done, but keep the fire very low, or put the aubergine in microwave for a few seconds, either way, some extra oil can come out, but not totally, as some oil kept in the aubergine can make it taste good) :).

5. Put the carrots and green pepper in the remaining oil, light fry (but if you are using that thin skin type of green pepper, do not put it into the wok with carrots just yet). This can be very quick, so the crunchiness of the carrots and green pepper can be preserved. Then remove them to the plate with the rest of the vegetables.

6. Clean the wok for the next step.

6. In a small bowl, put a tea spoon corn flour in and mix it with water, using a spoon to stir it, until corn flour mixed well with water. Pour a small tea spoon of cooking wine, light soy sauce, one-third tea spoon of salt (maybe, depend your taste), a couple of drops of rice vinegar, and one-third tea spoon of white sugar. Stir well everything together (corn flour can quickly sink to the bottom)

7. Put the wok back to the fire, this time the fire can be a bit stronger. Pour a little bit soy oil (or veg oil) in, say around 2 table spoon? :) Put a small pinch of sichuan pepper powder and 5 (or 13) spices powder into the oil (you skip the powders if you don't have it).

8. Then put all of pre-fried vegetables in, (you can put thin skin green peppers in now). Stir the vegetables well with the sichuan pepper and 5 (or 13) spices powder. Then pour the seasoning and corn flour mix in.

9. Stir everything together, when the liquid in the wok starts showing bubbles, it gets thicker, turn off the fire, remove the vegetables to a plate

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